This may sound pretty creepy but, I am a bit of a stan. Most people know that I am slightly obsessed with our daughter-in-a-good-and-well-meaning-Mommy-kind-of-way. I am always looking for ways for her to positively interact with other kids around her age. Since my attempt to join a Mommy Group was an epic fail. Mommy’s gotta keep it moving. So, recently, I have been aggressively looking into different play environments outside of storytime at the library for Georgia Peach (GP). Big thanks to Junk Food Nanny (who has been eating salads lately) for taking our Southern Belle every week!
First, we tried one of the Plantation playgrounds (you read it correctly, check it out here).
Each time we went, we were the only 2 people there. Kinda defeats the purpose but, I like hanging with my little Mama so, always time well spent. Besides its easier to ‘catch’ GP when she attempts to walk down the slide instead of actually sliding down it. 😉
Next, we tried one of the mall playgrounds. It went a little like this…
Upon arrival we parked the stroller in the designated area, read the rules, loaded up on antibacterial, removed her tiny shoes, secured our belongings (we don’t know these people), and entered the playground. We both observed the scene. There were about 15 kids ranging from 12 months to 8 years old. But as with any social setting/event there are a couple of standouts in the crowd. The same goes with the little ones.
We immediately noticed two boys terrorizing another boy. They were chasing, tackling, dragging him by one leg and one arm, pouncing on him then stopping when his whining and crying started to attract too much attention. As soon as they released the little boy, they would ‘find’ him again. Problem with this was he kept running to the same place…his Mother. Learn little boy, learn! Turns out all of these boys were brothers. After a few concerned looks from other Parents, the Mother asked the brothers to play nicely. Clearly she doesn’t care if the Menendez Brothers take the little one out. Better watch your back, Momma. You and Dad could be next.
Before we had a chance to recover, the next Lindsay Lohan runs up to GP grabs her shoulders and screams in her face. Stunned, we both looked at her like Little Lindsay was cray cray. I bent down to politely tell little Miss Congeniality to take her hands off my kid while GP just looked at her like she was missing a few marbles. Around this time, ‘Lindsay’s’ Dad comes over to redirect her energy elsewhere. Thanks for the help, Dr. Huxtable.
Despite the rocky start, GP had a good time.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago…
I was working in my home office (my desk faces the window overlooking our street) when I saw a woman I hadn’t seen before walking with her two children. One was driving a little car and the other was in a Moby. The little boy driving his car seemed to be close to GP’s age and was actually listening to his Mother’s directions. Where has this family been hiding? How can I meet these people? After about a week of seeing them every day around the same time walking past our house, I took matters into my own hands.
The next time I saw the Neighborhood Mom and her little ones walk past our house I would have to stop them. But how? I would probably freak out if this happened to GP and I, but this is what I did to this well-meaning family….
When I saw them coming, I threw on my jacket and hat, put on my shoes, ran downstairs and out into our garage, whipped the garage door open, started running down the driveway and across the street toward this innocent family all while waving my arms and yelling, “Excuse me, excuse me!”
The Neighborhood Mom stopped and asked her son to stop driving his car as well (very cute kid by the way). He did and politely chilled as I began my ridiculous rant. I started explaining how we have been looking for well-behaved age appropriate kids in our area for GP to play with and how I would love to get to know her and see if GP and her son would enjoy playing together. She was very gracious and agreed to let me know when they planned to take their early evening walk so the kids could meet and we could get to know each other.
The introduction went as well as it can go for a nearly 2 and 3-year-old and I enjoyed meeting the Neighborhood Mom too! Everything was going great until she says, “I wish we would have met sooner, WE ARE MOVING in about a month.” Come. ON!
Turns out, it is only a 20 minute drive to their new neighborhood so, we can manage it.
But, who knew the lengths I would go through to ensure we had a socially balanced well-adjusted mini genius?
The adventures continue… 🙂